💬 The Wrap
I'm cat sitting this week, and the neighbour's cat has decided that sticking his bum hole in my face is a good way to assist me in sending this. Hello there and yes this is still Emojipedia's free monthly newsletter.
One article that I wrote recently made a number of people upset either in a performative way, or perhaps realistic. I'm never all that sure. The ire focused on the last section about not using the laughing crying emoji 😂 lest you be called a boomer ("someone over the age of 35") on TikTok. That's not the main point of the article, but it is a popular sentiment on the youth app.
I'm not here to tell you how to use an emoji, but it is helpful to note possible ways you might be interpreted using an emoji in different contexts. Some of the reach might have been from Matt Navarra's popular Geekout Newsletter which also expanded the reach of the observation. I think (??) most people took it at the appropriate level of interest/indignation, but if anyone did miss the hidden wink, I am also over the age of 35 (👴) and on TikTok.
⏬ Skip this part if you want some fun emoji articles instead of standards body naval-gazing ⏬
A few interesting notes from the most recent Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) meeting in January. To bring you up to speed: UTC is the meeting where decisions are made about which Unicode characters to approve. This includes emojis. I represent Emojipedia, which as a Supporting Member has 0.5 of a vote. Recently Salesforce - the company that acquired Slack - become a full member with 1.0 votes at these meetings. The vote might appear like the most important aspect of membership, but in practice it's very rarely used. As part of proceedings various submissions are made, including those from the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee ("ESC"). Disclaimer: I am also a part of that subcommittee. Have I bored you yet? Sorry. 🔥⚡️🌟🌵
A clarification in the latest ESC report is that Unicode won't be accepting new subdivision flag proposals. This isn't exactly new, as Unicode's prior position on this was to simply 'make vendors aware' of proposals. No approval or rejection.
For subdivisions of the world (of which there are over 5,000, many of which don't have flags, or might be disputed) the rule is: if a vendor (eg Twitter, WhatsApp or Apple) wants to support one of those flags, they can. It's valid, and will work on any platform that supports them. It's just that Unicode doesn't want to dictate which go on the RGI (Recommended for General Interchange) list.
Until now, you could still submit proposals for this category of flags. Now, you can't. They won't be accepted. Again, this doesn't stop companies from supporting any of the subdivision flags of the world, just don't send a proposal to Unicode about it. Non-geographic flags are still accepted for review, using the same criteria as any other emoji.
On a related note, Unicode has also published a schedule for when emoji submissions will be accepted. The next opportunity will be from April 2, 2021. In the past the window 🪟 was open at all times. Now, any proposals must be in by August 31, 2021. Proposals after that date will not be reviewed until 2022.
If you do submit a proposal in the coming months and it is accepted? It will come to phones in 2023, or perhaps late 2022 at the earliest. Standards bodies aren't setup to move quickly, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
⏫ Okay that's enough of that for a month. ⏫
Onto the links.